A former New Brunswick Parking Authority official has admitted taking bribes to look the other way as his co-workers stole $100,000 in parking fees paid by motorists.
Acting Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey says Lawrence Sorbino of South Brunswick pleaded guilty to official misconduct on Wednesday, the day his trial was about to start in New Brunswick. The 34-year-old faces up to five years in state prison when he's sentenced Sept. 30.
Sorbino, the authority's former security director, admitted taking bribes from Emil Hanna and Emad Naguib to overlook their alleged theft of public parking fees.
Hanna and Naguib were convicted earlier this year on official misconduct charges, but a state judge dismissed the convictions. The prosecutor's office is appealing the judge's ruling.
Two former security guards and a former authority staffer have also pleaded guilty in the case.
Thevio Eliscar of New Brunswick was sentenced to seven years in state prison and ordered to pay $45,000 in restitution to the parking authority. Hicham Saadi, also of New Brunswick, received a 364-day county jail sentence and has repaid the authority $60,000.
Anthony Williams, a Somerset resident who worked as a dispatch supervisor, served three weeks in county jail and was sentenced to two years of probation.
Michael Lapidus, the authority's former finance chief, will have official misconduct charges dismissed if he completes a pretrial intervention program.